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Education sector CoI

first_imgTeachers’ salaries should be based primarily on performance, qualifications and experience. This was among the recommendations made by teachers on remuneration packages, in a report to the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the education sector.In the report, teachers of The Bishops’ High School stated that remuneration was a key element of any education policy, and should express a vision of the teacher as a professional with a decent salary and good employment conditions.“The teacher remuneration system not only determines how much teachers earn, but it also has an effect on the attractiveness of the profession, particularly for males, and on the organisation of schools, and on the educational outcomes of students. Indeed, the precise impact of the education system will depend on a sizeable number of factors, some of which are within the control of the Ministry of Education and the central government. Attracting the best graduates into the profession, and retaining a quality and motivated cadre of teachers will likely remain a challenge. Status, working conditions and opportunity for professional development all contribute to this objective. But remuneration remains one of the most powerful success factors in education,” the report stated.According to the teachers, studies have suggested that teachers and teacher expertise are the most important factors related to student learning and achievements. “Unfortunately, however, the importance of teachers to student achievement has not always translated to better teacher compensation,” the report noted.The teachers went on to point out that traditionally, teacher compensation has been based exclusively on individual development criteria such as length of service and level of education attained. “Initially, these criteria were aimed at preventing pay inequity between men and women prevalent until the 1940s. They also helped to protect teachers against subjective administrators, and to give incentives to younger teachers to stay in the system,” the teachers affirmed.The report elucidated that in Guyana, teachers are paid according to a version of the single-salary, or steps and lanes, schedule. It was indicated that this does not imply that all teachers earn the same salary. “Salaries vary, and they vary according to the characteristics of individual teachers. For example, teachers with more education units have larger salaries and teachers with administrative designations also earn more,” the teachers related.It was explained that the net income of Temporary Qualified Mistresses and Masters is ,659 while Untrained Graduate teachers receive ,456.  Meanwhile, Untrained Graduates, with a master’s degree are paid ,164, while Graduate Senior Mistresses and Masters receive 8,512.The teachers continued to point out that a critical omission from the single-pay schedule used in Guyana is pay for seniority. They explained that this system works by segmenting and paying teachers based on the number of years served. “An obvious advantage of such a system is that it rewards staff for years of experience and incentivises young teachers to remain in the profession. As an example, a pay by seniority scheme may have three grades of seniority – less than five years, five to ten years and more than ten years.  There is a strong argument for making an element of salary dependent on length of service and on teacher effort. Pay by seniority rewards teachers for their commitment of time to the system and reflects the relative differences in experience among teachers, while performance-related pay permits reward based on something other than credentials or years of experience, both of which have been shown to be poor indicators of teacher effectiveness ,” the report stated.Given this issue, the teachers have recommended that a group-based performance incentive scheme be used by the Ministry. “For a subject department with five or more students on CXC’s merit list, CSEC and CAPE, a group package of, say, ,000 to those teachers in that department with direct responsibility for the results. For example, if a business department secures two merit students in Principles of Accounts (CSEC), two in Principles of Business, and one in Economics, then this department qualifies for the incentive. Additionally, a monetary reward can be also offered to each department with five or more students on Guyana’s merit list (top 10 students), CSEC and CAPE.  For a school with the highest overall pass rates at CSEC and CAPE respectively, a monetary reward in the range of 0,000 can be offered. To make this system [a] fair one, different categories can be established [to] reflect the varying challenges faced by different schools,” the teachers explained.They have also urged that non-financial incentives be provided such as coverage of tuition fees in return for a teaching bond; an increase in uniform allowance by a factor of three, to ,000, annually; loan guarantee scheme for the purchase of a vehicle by senior teachers; tax exemptions and/or discounts:  as well as discounts and/or exemptions for the purchase of state-provided goods and services.last_img read more

S. Whittier district selects new leader

first_imgSOUTH WHITTIER – Although officials must still make a visit up north, South Whittier School District trustees have selected the head of a public school district in Bakersfield as the local district’s new superintendent. Erich Kwek, 54, superintendent of the Standard School District in Bakersfield, is the top finalist for the local post. If approved, Kwek would succeed Superintendent Richard L. Graves, who is set to retire later this month after 22 years. Two board members – possibly more – will travel to Bakersfield on Sunday. They will meet with Kwek’s colleagues at the 3,000-student Standard School District, said school board President Jan Baird. “He really seems like a great guy. He’s got a lot of ambition and he’s the type that can get things done,” she said. Kwek, who has spent the past 25 years at the Bakersfield district, said he already was spending many of his weekends in the Los Angeles and Orange county areas after his children relocated there. As such, he was “looking for a good district to come down south and be a superintendent, and South Whittier had all those qualities,” he said. “South Whittier has a tradition of being a stable school district, and the superintendent has been there for a long time. There is a lot of community support, great staff, and I feel my professional experience is a good match for South Whittier,” Kwek added. At the Standard School District, Kwek had also served as an assistant superintendent, and a middle and elementary school principal. He is also a part-time professor at Point Loma Nazarene University. The school board’s selection of Kwek “was a unanimous, quick and easy decision,” Baird said. “I just feel he’s a good fit,” she added. If ultimately hired, Kwek said his priorities will include lifting three of South Whittier’s schools out of “program improvement” status, a label the state applies to schools that fail to meet testing targets. He also will need to find replacements for Associate Superintendent Lilia Dickson and Senior Fiscal Services Director David Morton, both of whom also are retiring this month. “It’s an exciting new challenge,” said Kwek. tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051last_img read more

Former Chelsea star Lampard joins New York City FC

1 Frank Lampard has signed for New York City FC, the Major League Soccer franchise have announced.The 36-year-old left Chelsea at the end of last season after 13 seasons and a club record 211 goals.The midfielder becomes New York City FC’s fourth player and second major summer signing following the arrival of David Villa from Atletico Madrid.“I am really excited about joining New York City FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in one of the sporting capitals of the world,” said Lampard.“The passion of the nation’s fans at the World Cup was second to none and I am looking forward to meeting New Yorkers and tapping into their love of the game. It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City – I just can’t wait to get started and be part of it.” Frank Lampard read more

Is this the team that can win the Premier League title for Arsenal by 2017?

first_imgA number of the players like Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are capable of playing in a number of different positions, giving the club strength in depth.Khedira’s contract expires at the end of the season, but playmaker Isco, winger Reus and classy centre-back Hummels will not come cheap.Do you agree this is the team to win Wenger a fourth Premier League title? If not, then let us know who you would like the club to target in the comments below. Will Arsenal win another title under Arsene Wenger? He thinks so Arsenal are currently 13 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, but manager Arsene Wenger believes he can lead the club to title glory again before his contract expires in three years time.It has been more than 10 years since the club were last champions, but the Emirates boss thinks his players are on the verge of something special.However, they’ll need some new additions in defence, midfield and attack.Borussia Dortmund pair Mats Hummels and Marco Reus have been linked as have Real Madrid duo Isco and Sami Khedira.Is the team that can bring the Premier League back to Arsenal? 1 1last_img read more

High school grads set to spread their wings

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2And in those graduations, many parents will see a child achieve what they couldn’t – a diploma. For many parents and students alike, that piece of paper symbolized a milestone. “Very happy. Today is a special day for me,” said Alis Shamouni, of her son Givargiz Sourani of Grant High School, the first of her children to graduate in a school in the United States. But although he may be finished with high school, her job isn’t over yet, she said. He still has to finish college and get a degree in computers, and then “when I see that diploma, then I will know how good a job I have done.” As he prepared to walk onto Grant High School’s graduation field Thursday, Cameron Harrison’s mother had one simple word: “Hallelujah!” Sakantula Harrison exclaimed. “He’s my last one. Finally.” “Finally,” repeated many parents at Grant High School’s graduation. Under a hot summer sun that has come to define graduation ceremonies in the San Fernando Valley for decades, hundreds of bursting-with-pride parents wielding video cameras and bouquets of flowers cheered on sons and daughters wearing green and black caps and gowns, Grant’s school colors. CANOGA PARK – High up in the stands at Canoga Park High School, Maria and Jose Chavez waited with roses, balloons and a stuffed white bear for their daughter, Heidi, to make family history. Neither Maria, 47, a housekeeper, nor Jose, 53, a truck driver, ever got more than a sixth-grade education. But on Thursday, Heidi was graduating with honors, and going on to college. “She’s the first to graduate from our family,” Jose Chavez said in Spanish. “She’s starting a new journey to meet her goals.” More than 25,700 students from 60 Los Angeles Unified School District high schools will graduate this week in ceremonies across the city, including Birmingham, Canoga Park, Cleveland, Grant, High Tech, Kennedy and Monroe High Schools in the Valley. Graduate Maria Tista, 18, said she could feel her parent’s pride. She planned to continue on to college, to become a teacher. “They feel really happy because they believed in me and they stayed with me all the way,” she said. Her friends, Jostyl Ting, 17, and Ja’carl Thomas, 18, said if they could offer one message to their parents, it would be “Thanks for believing in us.” Besides pride, Thomas said maybe his parents were a little scared too, “because we’re finally moving out into the world.” Canoga Park graduate Brittanie Brown, 17, of Sylmar, nervously awaited the ceremony with the other graduates, clad in their choice of either green or white. “It’s the beginning of my adult life, my life after high school,” she said, half in awe. “Everything’s up to me now.” Brown plans to go to California State University, Northridge, and major in biology. She wants to be an obstetrician/gynecologist, a goal she developed after seeing her niece born a year ago. But she said a lot of her success was due to the Canoga Park teachers in the school’s magnet program who listened to her and encouraged her. Former music teacher Richard Kravchak left Canoga Park High School last year to teach at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He came back to see the Class of 2006 graduate. “We’re proud of each of our graduates,” Kravchak said. “Especially when you think of how many of them don’t make it this far. A lot of them are the first in their families to graduate. Many of their parents are working several jobs, and (the students) often have to work to help support the family. I feel it’s a privilege to walk with them.” Juan Hernandez, 48, of Canoga Park, was equally proud of his daughter, Gloria, 19, who graduated from Canoga Park with honors and is the second of his children to go on to college. Older brother Juan, 24, is a mortgage broker. “It makes me feel good that she’s graduating and will have more opportunities to get a good job,” said a beaming Hernandez. Looking at the steady stream of parents filing in the stadium he added, “When I see so many kids graduating, it makes me think the parents did a good job and wanted something better for their children.” In his valedictorian speech, Grant graduate Hayk Yegoryan compared his class to birds spreading their wings. “This is it. This is our moment of flight,” he said. “I am proud to take a first step, right here, right now, under the scrutiny of all your eyes.” In other high schools, graduates also reflected on their class experiences. “We have learned to appreciate the beauty of diversity and embrace individualism in a population of almost 4,000 students,” Tanya Corpus, senior class president at Birmingham High School said in her speech. “Showing us the good and the bad of the real world, we have grown up and matured together these past four years and now we will use the knowledge and skills we have acquired to embark on our ultimate test.” Canoga Park graduate and class president Reginald Green told his fellow grads that they were all created for a purpose. “It is our time to shine in the outside world,” Green said. “Don’t ever give up on your dreams and ambitions.” lisa.sodders@dailynews.com (818) 713-3663160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Businesses urge LAUSD to seek food-service bids

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A day after the school board gave Superintendent David Brewer III 90 days to analyze the effectiveness of school cafeterias, the Valley’s largest business organization urged him Wednesday to consider competitive contracting for Los Angeles Unified’s food services. Robert Scott, chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, sent the superintendent a letter urging him to consider putting cafeteria services out to competitive bid. Scott cited findings in the report “Reforming Schools” by the Mulholland Institute, which concluded that it would be better for schools to stick to education and contract out for non-core services such as transportation maintenance, security and food service. But LAUSD officials said Senate Bill 1419, passed in 2003, prohibits school districts from contracting out food services. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Even if the law allowed districts to put food services out to competitive bid, it wouldn’t be the right answer for a district that’s made significant gains in food services over the past four years, said Michael Eugene, business manager for LAUSD.last_img read more

Man Wanted for Child Solicitation and Sexual Misconduct with a Minor

first_img Broy’s pictures show him to be scruffy at times and to have a thin beard and goatee.Police said he was allegedly soliciting middle and high school aged juvenile females through Facebook messenger and Snapchat apps. They believe he was doing this under several different Facebook and Snapchat aliases.Several of his Facebook accounts have been deactivated. His known Facebook names are/were: “Chris Broy”, “Chris B”, Jeremy J_G”, “CJ Aintgivenup”. His Snapchat name is “Cjbroy46”. Police said Broy has been known to use fake profile pictures that portray him to be a young boy and he commonly provides a false age to his victims ranging from 19-24-years-oldAuthorities said they have been notified that Broy is aware he has active arrest warrants. They said Broy recently posted to social media, making a reference that he is in possession of a firearm so he should be considered armed and dangerous.Broy is known to frequent Clark, Scott, Floyd and Harrison counties.The Scott County Sheriff’s office is asking anyone who knows the whereabouts of Broy to contact them at 812-752-8400. The Scott County Sheriff’s office is asking for the public’s help in finding a man wanted for questioning in multiple allegations of child molestation, child solicitation, sexual misconduct with a minor, possession of child pornography and intimidation.Authorities with the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, Indiana State Police and the US Marshals Service are actively searching for 39 year-old Christopher J. Broy. Broy currently has warrants for his arrest out of Harrison County, IN. for charges involving sexual misconduct with a minor, child solicitation, possession of child pornography, and invasion of privacy.Broy is described as 6’01”, approximately 200 lbs with Brown Hair and Brown Eyes.last_img read more

SA, Angola strengthen ties

first_imgPresident Jacob Zuma (Left) and AngolanPresident Jose Eduardo Dos Santos have cemented ties between the two countries. (Image: The Presidency) MEDIA CONTACTS • Vincent Magwenya South African presidential spokesperson + 27 72 715 0024 USEFUL LINKS • The Presidency • Business Unity South Africa • Business agreement between South Africa and Angola • Department of International Relations and Cooperation RELATED ARTICLES • SABMiller invests more in Angola • Economic boomtime in Angola • Angola’s four year plan for health • The Southern African DevelopmentCommunity • Wine exports break new records Khanyi MagubanePresident Jacob Zuma’s recent visit to Angola, his first state visit to an African country since his inauguration in May 2009, has borne much fruit for the two countries.Zuma was accompanied by 11 cabinet ministers and over 150 local business leaders – the largest delegation ever to accompany a president on an international trip.Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, who invited Zuma to his resource-rich country from 19 to 21 August, said the historic visit signalled the start of a new era between Africa’s biggest economy and Africa’s biggest oil producer.Dos Santos said South Africa had the skilled labour that Angola needed to help it build infrastructure and develop as a country following its 27-year-long civil war which was formally brought to an end in 2002. Vast stretches of Angola’s roads and many of its buildings were destroyed during the unrest.Several trade agreements, which will go a long way in boosting economic ties between the two countries, were reached during Zuma’s visit. The most significant one involves a cooperation deal in the oil sector.Under the agreement, state oil and gas company PetroSA and its Angolan counterpart Sonangol plan to work together in the exploration, refining and distribution of oil.“Huge opportunities still remain in the petroleum and gas sectors in Angola with 28 of the 51 concessions offshore still to be licensed and explorations under way offshore,” reads a joint statement released by the two bodies.Dos Santos and Zuma also discussed the distribution of electricity from the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) Grand Inga Dam hydroelectric project, which, according to project leaders, will be able to supply power to the entire African continent with enough left over to sell to Europe.Healing old woundsIn between several scheduled meetings during the visit, Zuma took time to make an emotional pilgrimage to a former anti-apartheid camp where several cadres of Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK) died in exile. MK was the African National Congress’s (ANC) armed wing during the struggle against white minority rule in South Africa.During this time Angola, through the ruling MPLA (Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola) party, was an ally of the ANC and provided refuge for many political activists and military training for MK soldiers.Zuma also laid a wreath at a monument honouring Angola’s first president Agostinho Neto.“This is to remind us where we come from and encourage us to work harder for the goals for which many lost their lives,” Zuma said at the ceremony.During his visit Zuma also addressed a special seating of the National Assembly in Luanda where he formally thanked Angola for hosting political activists during apartheid.“Angola was our home away from home during very difficult moments in the history of our country and our struggle,” he said.“We would like to express our gratitude for the solidarity and comradeship that was extended by Angolans to the ANC and the people of South Africa during the struggle for our liberation.”Zuma himself spent time in exile in Angola during the apartheid years.A stable AfricaDiscussions between the two heads of state also centred on providing military assistance to other African countries, such as conflict-torn DRC.During the talks Angola and South Africa, both of which currently have the biggest military forces in Africa, explored the issue of a unified peacekeeping force in that country.Addressing the Angolan parliament, Zuma spoke about the importance of a stable Southern African Development Community (SADC).The SADC is an inter-governmental organisation that works towards boosting socio-economic, political and security cooperation, as well as integration among 15 Southern African states.“The organ [SADC] has been seized with various crucial matters such as the situation in Zimbabwe, Madagascar and others, based on the view that peace must prevail in Africa,” Zuma said.“As the current chair of SADC, we will continue to support the inclusive government in Zimbabwe and render whatever assistance our capacity allows. We urge countries of the developed north to join the continent in assisting the people of Zimbabwe to lift themselves out of the socio-economic difficulties they face.”Business for AfricaTurning to business matters during his parliamentary address, Zuma outlined the sectors that will form part of the trade agreements between South Africa and Angola.“The consultation mechanism will help us to consolidate and strengthen friendship and solidarity between the people of the two countries in various areas.“These include trade and industry, mining and energy, defence and security, immigration, tourism, communication, science and technology, banking, transportation, agriculture, fishing and others,” he said.South Africa shares a sound business relationship with Angola. In 2007 South African exports to Angola amounted to R6-billion (US$753.5-million), while Angolan exports to South Africa were in the region of R12-billion ($1.5-billion).Zuma also spoke to the business community of Angola during his visit, emphasising the importance of South Africa’s private sector in helping Angola strengthen its commercial industries.Business Unity South Africa (Busa), who led the business delegation, met with their Angolan counterparts during the tour. Busa was formed in October 2003 through the merging of the Black Business Council and Business South Africa.The body is hailed as one of the first truly unified business organisations in South Africa.It was agreed that the already established Angola-South Africa Business Forum would be vital in coordinating business operations between the two countries.“There’s a lot of energy, a lot of interest, a lot of commitment here at the moment, things are on the boil,” said Jose Severino, president of the Association of Angolan Industry, speaking to newswire AFP about the Busa meeting.“Angola has many, many natural resources and then we see on the South African side there is potential [to] create excellent partnerships to further enhance the growth of our country,” said Severino.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comlast_img read more

2010 Fifa World Cup team statistics

first_imgClick on image for larger low-resolutionversion, or download high-resolutionimage.MEDIA CONTACTS• Wolfgang Eichler, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 2010 471media-sa@fifa.org• Delia Fischer, Fifa Media Officer+27 11 567 2010 or +27 11 567 2524media-sa@fifa.org• Jermaine Craig, Media Manager2010 Fifa World CupLocal Organising Committee+27 11 567 2010 or +27 83 201 0121jermaine.craig@2010oc.comArgentina, Brazil, Cameroon, Denmark … Get to know the 32 teams competing in South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup: the matches they’ll be playing, their past performances in the tournament, their countries as footballing nations and much more. Algeria Argentina Australia Brazil Cameroon Chile Côte d’Ivoire Denmark England France Germany Ghana Greece Honduras Italy Japan Mexico Netherlands New Zealand Nigeria North Korea Paraguay Portugal Serbia Slovakia Slovenia South Africa South Korea Spain Switzerland Uruguay USA  DOWNLOADSRight-click on the link to save the PDF file to your computer.Download 2010 World Cup teams statistics (6 MB)Download 2010 World Cup match schedule (2.3 MB)Download Fifa Team media officers contacts (157 KB)  ALGERIA (ALG)Algeria: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaAlgeria: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 2Best World Cup progress: Groups stages in 1982, 1986Total World Cup matches: 6World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 2 / 1 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 33%Algeria: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Algérienne de Football Year association founded: 1962Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1964Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 34-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1.8-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 5.2%Professional footballers: 300Algeria: Overview Algeria will end a 24-year absence from football’s top table when they kick their first ball at the 2010 Fifa World Cup. This will mark their third appearance at a World Cup and they are looking to graduate from the group stage for the first time ever.In 1982, they made history by defeating West Germany 2-1 and Chile 3-2, only to lose 2-0 to Austria. Four years on from their debut, they shared a 1-1 draw with Northern Ireland before losing 1-0 to Brazil and 3-0 to Spain.They earned a place in this year’s World Cup with a 1-0 victory against African champions Egypt in Khartoum, Sudan. Algeria are in Group C, where they will be up against England, the US and Slovenia.Algeria’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP ARGENTINA (ARG)Argentina: Group B matches Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneArgentina: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 14Best World Cup progress: Winners 1978, 1986Total World Cup matches: 65World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 33 / 13 / 19Percentage of World Cup match wins: 51%Argentina: Footballing nation Association: Asociación del Fútbol Argentino Year association founded: 1893Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1912Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 41-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 2.7-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.5%Professional footballers: 3 530Argentina: Overview Argentina had a difficult qualifying campaign. The two-time world champions started the campaign under leadership of coach Alfio Basile, but a defeat to Chile relegated them to third place. Coaching was then taken over by former player Diego Armando Maradona.After going down Chile, Argentina fell to a humiliating 6-1 loss to Brazil, their second-ever home qualifying loss. They tallied up six defeats in their fight to qualify. They recorded eight wins and four draws before scraping into the World Cup with a 1-0 win over Uruguay.Despite a tortuous qualification campaign, Argentina is travelling to South Africa with serious plans to win the title for the first time in 24 years. To achieve that goal, the 1978 and 1986 world champions have pinned their faith in coach Maradona, the country’s most famous footballing son and the guiding hand behind the qualifying triumph.Argentina was drawn in Group B to take on Nigeria, South Korea and Greece.Argentina’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP AUSTRALIA (AUS)Australia: Group D matches Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitAustralia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1974Previous World Cups: 2Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 2006Total World Cup matches: 7World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 2 / 4Percentage of World Cup match wins: 14%Australia: Footballing nation Association: Football Federation Australia Year association founded: 1961Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1963Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 21-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 971 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.6%Professional footballers: 200Australia: Overview Australia has appeared on the world stage just twice, but is now making up for lost time by claiming a second consecutive qualification.After a 32-year absence from the tournament, Australia made a strong statement at the 2006 Fifa World Cup, reaching the knockout stage where it took a last-minute goal from eventual champions Italy to eliminate the team. The current squad, led by Pim Verbeek from the Netherlands, is an experienced group featuring many of the Germany 2006 players.The Australians finished top of their group overcoming some of the best Asian teams to be one of the first nations to book their place in South Africa. They will be playing in Group D against Germany, Serbia and Ghana.Australia squad for the 2010 Fifa World Cup BACK TO TOP BRAZIL (BRA)Brazil: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanBrazil: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 18Best World Cup progress: Winners 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, 2002Total World Cup matches: 92World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 14 / 14 / 14Percentage of World Cup match wins: 70%Brazil: Footballing nation Association: Confederaçao Brasileira de FutebolYear association founded: 1914Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 198-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 13.2-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.6%Professional footballers: 16 200Brazil: Overview Brazil, the five-time world champions, go into every Fifa World Cup heavily favoured to add yet another star to the legendary yellow and blue jersey. Coach Carlos Dunga will be fully aware that any outcome other than a sixth world crown will likely be considered a failure.In the qualifiers, the Brazillians clinched a South Africa 2010 berth with three match days to spare. Dunga’s team defeated arch-rivals Argentina 3-1 in Rosario to confirm their passage to South Africa.Despite the Brazilian national team position being his first coaching role, Dunga answered those who doubted his credentials by guiding the team to triumph in the 2007 Copa America, the Fifa Confederations Cup South Africa 2009 and to qualifying for South Africa 2010 with room to spare.The triumphant Confederations Cup 2009 campaign cemented Kaká, aka Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, as the man Brazil look to for inspiration. This fact was reflected in him taking the Adidas Golden ball, awarded to the best player of the tournament. Meanwhile, up front, Luis Fabiano proved himself a truly world-class finisher with five goals including a priceless brace in the 3-2 final win over the USA.Brazil have been drawn into a tricky Group G to face Portugal, Côte d’Ivoire and North Korea. As hosts of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, Brazil are keen to take the trophy home to defend it on home turf.Brazil’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP CAMEROON (CMR)Cameroon: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownCameroon: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 5Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1990Total World Cup matches: 17World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 4 / 7 / 6Percentage of World Cup match wins: 24%Cameroon: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Camerounaise de FootballYear association founded: 1959Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1964Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 19-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 786 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.2%Professional footballers: 540Cameroon: Overview Having competed in the World Cup five times and ranked by Fifa as the top African country, Cameroon is a side to be watched in 2010. They are considered the continental-best. No other African side has beaten their historic run to the Italy 1990 quarter-finals.Though their qualification-clinching 2-0 victory in Morocco was straightforward enough, Cameroon had a tough campaign. They were in the bottom of their group after two games before Paul Le Guen replaced Otto Pfister as coach.Under the new leader they completed an impressive turnaround campaign with two victories in four days over contenders Gabon. This was followed by a comprehensive 3-0 defeat of Togo, and Cameroon’s consecutive wins were more than enough to reach South Africa. The Cameroonians will be playing in Group E, taking on the Netherlands, Denmark and Japan.Cameroon will be playing in the World Cup for the sixth time – a new African record.Cameroon’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP CHILE (CHI)Chile: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaChile: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 7Best World Cup progress: Third-place semi-finalists in 1962Total World Cup matches: 25World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 7 / 6 / 12Percentage of World Cup match wins: 28%Chile: Footballing nation Association: Federación de Fútbol de ChileYear association founded: 1895Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1913Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 17-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 2.6-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 15.7%Professional footballers: 637Chile: OverviewChile last qualified for the Fifa World Cup 12 years ago in France. Coached by the experienced Argentinian Marcelo Bielsa, the Chileans qualified for the finals with some ease, making up for their poor performances in the qualifying competitions for Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006, when they finished ninth and seventh respectively.Bielsa’s side finished second in the continental qualifying group, just one point behind Brazil – their best performance yet. They qualified for the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa with a spectacular 4-2 win in Colombia.Chile will be taking part in the World Cup finals for the eighth time. They will be playing in Group H against Spain, Switzerland and Honduras.Chile’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP CÔTE D’IVOIRE (CIV)Côte d’Ivoire: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCôte d’Ivoire: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2006Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1962Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 0 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 33%Côte d’Ivoire: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Ivoirienne de FootballYear association founded: 1960Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1964Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 21-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 802 000Footballers as percentage of population: 3.9%Professional footballers: 100Côte d’Ivoire: OverviewIf an African team is to make a major impact on the 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire is seen by many as the most likely candidate. Led by coach Vahid Halilhodzic the team cemented their status as one of the continent’s powerhouses when they qualified for 2010 without losing a match.The team feature top-drawer talent such as English Premier League striker Didier Drogba who plays for Chelsea FC and teammate Salomon Kalou – a tough duo up front. Didier Zokora, who plays for Spanish club Sevilla FC , and FC Barcelona’s Yaya Toure are formidable in the midfield. The England-based pair of Arsenal FC player Emmanuel Eboue and Manchester City FC’s Kolo Toure form one of the best defences in Africa.Côte d’Ivoire also have a point to prove after being eliminated in the first round at Germany 2006. With more experience, this team is certain to be a handful in attack. They have been drawn into a tough Group H with Brazil, North Korea and Portugal.Côte d’Ivoire’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP DENMARK (DEN)Denmark: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownDenmark: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1986Previous World Cups: 3Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1988Total World Cup matches: 13World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 7 / 2 / 4Percentage of World Cup match wins: 54%Denmark: Footballing nation Association: Dansk Boldspil-UnionYear association founded: 1889Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 5-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 511 000Footballers as percentage of population: 9.3%Professional footballers: 852Denmark: OverviewAfter a six-year absence, Denmark is set to explode on the elite world footballing scene. The Fifa founder members blazed an impressive campaign battling against Portugal and Sweden in the European 2010 World Cup qualifying games. They came to top of their group, beating Sweden 1-0 to qualify.Denmark will be looking to extend their creditable record at three previous World Cup appearances, where they reached the second elimination round twice and the quarter-finals on another occasion. In 1986 in Mexico they progressed to the last 16. The core of that team then went on to register the nation’s greatest footballing triumph with the 1992 Union of European Football Associations (Uefa) European Championship crown in neighbouring Sweden.The Uefa European Football Championship is the main football competition of the men’s national football teams governed by Uefa. It has been held every four years since 1960. After winning the Uefa European Championships, the team went on to win the Fifa Confederations Cup in 1995.South Africa will be Denmark’s fourth appearance at the Fifa World Cup. They will be playing in Group E with the Netherlands, Japan, and Cameroon.Denmark’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP ENGLAND (ENG)England: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaEngland: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1950Previous World Cups: 12Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1966Total World Cup matches: 55World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 25 / 17 / 13Percentage of World Cup match wins: 46%England: Footballing nation Association: The Football AssociationYear association founded: 1863Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1905Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 61-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.2-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.8%Professional footballers: 6 100England: OverviewEngland swept into the finals with a 5-1 defeat of Croatia, making it their eighth victory in eight Group 6 matches. Coach Fabio Capello’s side ensured their progress to the finals with two matches to spare.England captain John Terry said: “When we play like that, pressing and working the ball, we’re a difficult opposition for any side. Don’t forget, it’s taken a year for us to get this good, and we’ve got a way to go to get to where we ultimately want to be. But we’re on track.”Dubbed English football’s golden generation, South Africa 2010 may be the last chance at international silverware for some of the most well-known faces in the game. The team fell short at the Uefa Euro 2004 and the 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany.England has appeared at 11 previous editions of the global showpiece, debuting at Brazil 1950.They were the winners on home soil in 1966, and displayed their best performance outside their own shores in Italy 1990, when they reached the last four. They were defeated in penalties by eventual winners West Germany.The team are in Group C where they where they will play against the US, Algeria and Slovenia.England’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP FRANCE (FRA)France: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinFrance: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 12Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1998Total World Cup matches: 51World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 25 / 10 / 16Percentage of World Cup match wins: 51%France: Footballing nation Association: Fédération Française de FootballYear association founded: 1919Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 62-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.2-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 6.7%Professional footballers: 1 825France: OverviewFrance had one of the most controversial qualification games. They finished a point behind Serbia in group seven and were paired with the Republic of Ireland in the play-offs. Led by coach Raymond Domenech they played to a 1-0 win in Ireland.This was followed by a game of huge controversy. In the playoff game Ireland captain Robbie Keane scored a goal that levelled the tie at 1-1 on aggregate, leading to extra-time. William Gallas scored the disputed winning goal for France, which came from a handball pass from captain Thierry Henry.The French are in Group A where they will play against South Africa, Mexico and Uruguay.France won the World Cup as the host nation in 1998, and the European Football Championship in 1984 and in 2000. They also won the Fifa Confederations Cup in 2001 and 2003. Despite a drop in standards in 2002 and 2006, France still came agonisingly close to winning the World Cup title again in Germany 2006, losing out on penalties to Italy in the final.France’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP GERMANY (GER)Germany: Group D matches Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitGermany: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 16Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1954, 1974, 1990Total World Cup matches: 92World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 55 / 19 / 18Percentage of World Cup match wins: 60%Germany: Footballing nation Association: Deutscher Fussball-BundYear association founded: 1900Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 82-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 16.3-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 19.8%Professional footballers: 864Germany: OverviewThree-time Fifa World Cup winners Germany have not missed a World Cup since 1950 and that record was extended as they booked their place to South Africa with a 1-0 win over group rivals Russia.“We’ve been very successful in the past, and that’s an inspiration to the next generations,” said German fullback Philip Lahm.“You only have to look at Germany’s record at major tournaments. We won the World Cup in 1954, 1974 and 1990, and the European Championship in 1972, 1980 and 1996.“We’re definitely among a group of countries with a chance of taking the trophy. We were third at the World Cup and second at the Euro, so our goal for 2010 is to make the final and win the trophy.”The 2006 Fifa World Cup hosts were drawn into Group D with Ghana, Serbia and Australia.Germany’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP GHANA (GHA)Ghana: Group D matches Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitGhana: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2006Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 2006Total World Cup matches: 4World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 2 / 0 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 50%Ghana: Footballing nation Association: Ghana Football AssociationYear association founded: 1957Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1958Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 24-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 987 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.1%Professional footballers: 0Ghana: OverviewGhana was the first African team to reach the 2010 World Cup from the qualifiers. The only African side to progress past the group stage at the 2006 Fifa World Cup Germany, Ghana is anxious to prove themselves as the cream of the continent.Speaking to Fifa after the 2-0 qualifying game against Sudan, Ghana’s midfielder Michael Essien said: “The people of Ghana wanted us to win and we did not let them down. What a fantastic feeling to be the first African country to qualify for the first World Cup to be staged in Africa.”Though this will be only their second appearance at the World Cup, the Ghanaians have enjoyed considerable success at all levels of international football. They have won four Confederation of African Football Africa Cup of Nations titles, as well as two Fifa U-17 World Cups.In October 2009 they became the first African team to lift the Fifa U-20 World Cup when they beat Brazil on penalties. With added experience since their 2006 adventure, Ghana is set to be a major threat at Africa’s first Fifa World Cup. They will be playing in Group D against Germany, Australia and Serbia.Ghana’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP GREECE (GRE)Greece: Group B matches Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneGreece: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1994Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1994Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 0 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%Greece: Footballing nation Association: Hellenic Football FederationYear association founded: 1926Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1927Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 11-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 761 000Footballers as percentage of population: 7%Professional footballers: 1 818Greece: OverviewThe Uefa Euro 2004 champions, Greece continue to defy the odds to have clinched qualification for only their second Fifa World Cup finals.The road to South Africa was tricky as they had to play European Zone play-offs against Ukraine, opponents who had taken four points from the Greeks in Group 2 qualifications for Germany 2006. This time around, after a 0-0 draw in Athens, Greece grabbed a 1-0 second-leg success in Donetsk.There will be no shortage of experience for the Greeks when they come to South Africa. Chief among their veteran performers are defender Sotirios Kyrgiakos, who has played more qualifying minutes than any other squad member, and former Inter Milan and Benfica midfielder Karagounis.They will also have top European Zone qualifying scorer Theofanis Gekas, and Angelos Charisteas, scorer of the winning goal in the final at Euro 2004.Greece will be looking to advance past the group stages for the first time and surprise the world again, as they did at Euro 2004. They will be playing in Group B against Argentina, Nigeria and South Korea.Greece’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP HONDURAS (HON)Honduras: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaHonduras: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1982Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 2 / 1Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%Honduras: Footballing nation Association: Federación Nacional Autónoma de Fútbol de HondurasYear association founded: 1951Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1951Confederation: Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)Population: 8-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 421 000Footballers as percentage of population: 5%Professional footballers: 100Honduras: OverviewDespite having just squeezed into qualification, coach Reinaldo Rueda’s team will not be going to South Africa just to make up the numbers. Honduras will be playing in the Fifa World Cup for the second time since 1982.Big-name stars in the the Honduran team include key striker Carlos Pavon, supported by the talented David Suazo, Wilson Palacios, Julio Leon and Amado Guevara. Pavon would love nothing more than to crown his top international career with a goal-laden showing on the biggest stage of all.For Honduras, qualifying for the World Cup had become something of a recurring nightmare. They invariably fell short at key moments, until the arrival of 42-year-old Colombian strategist Rueda. In their road to South Africa, Honduras racked up an eight-game unbeaten home run and bolstered the best defensive record in the section.After their bad luck in Spain in 1982, when they left the competition without a single win, Honduras are determined to put in a better showing in their second World Cup. They will be playing in Group H against Spain, Switzerland and Chile.Honduras’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP ITALY (ITA)Italy: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneItaly: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 16Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1934, 1938, 1982, 2006Total World Cup matches: 77World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 44 / 19 / 14Percentage of World Cup match wins: 57%Italy: Footballing nation Association: Federazione Italiana Giuoco CalcioYear association founded: 1898Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1905Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 58-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 8.6%Professional footballers: 3 541Italy: OverviewThe World Cup defending champions, the Italians will be one of the leading contenders to emerge triumphant at the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Marcello Lippi’s men will be vying to match the performance of their pioneering predecessors in 1934 and 1938 by winning the tournament twice in succession.Italy sealed the chance to defend their world title in South Africa in dramatic fashion, equalising in the last minute in Ireland to snatch a 2-2 draw and top spot in Group 8.After an early exit at the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, the Italian team will be looking to turn around their misfortune. Under the leadership of 61-year-old coach and master tactician Lippi, the team are working to add a fifth World Cup crown to their rich footballing history.They have been drawn in Group F with Paraguay, New Zealand and Slovakia.Italy’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP JAPAN (JPN)Japan: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownJapan: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1998Previous World Cups: 3Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 2002Total World Cup matches: 10World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 2 / 2 / 6Percentage of World Cup match wins: 20%Japan: Footballing nation Association: Japan Football AssociationYear association founded: 1921Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1929Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 127-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.8-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 3.8%Professional footballers: 976Japan: OverviewThe co-hosts of the 2002 Fifa World Cup, Japan boast one of the strongest squads in Asian football. Winners of three of the last five editions of the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup, Japan have high hopes for the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa.They were the first team to book their place after earning a hard-fought 1-0 victory against Uzbekistan in Tashkent. This will be their fourth appearance at the Fifa World Cup, where they will be playing in Group E against Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon.The Japanese will be facing their first finals without iconic midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata. The former Roma schemer featured in each of the national side’s games at France 1998, Korea/Japan 2002 and Germany 2006 before hanging up his boots after the latter event, aged just 29.The Japanese hopes rest on players such as playmaker Shunsuke Nakamura, who in the summer 2009 made the switch from Glasgow to La Liga with Espanyol. Another European-based performer is young midfielder Keisuke Honda, at Eredivisie outfit VVV Venlo and like Nakamura a gifted left-footer.Leading from the back is 31-year-old defensive rock and captain Yuji Nakazawa, who with over 90 senior caps to his name is Japan’s third-most capped player of all time.The qualifying round was comfortable for the Japanese. They reached the fourth and final stage of Asian Zone having won four, drawn three and lost just one of their eight matches in Group 1.Japan’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP MEXICO (MEX)Mexico: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinMexico: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 13Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1970, 1986Total World Cup matches: 45World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 11 / 12 / 22Percentage of World Cup match wins: 24%Mexico: Footballing nation Association: Federación Mexicana de Fútbol AsociaciónYear association founded: 1927Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1929Confederation: Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)Population: 111-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 8.5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 7.6%Professional footballers: 4 593Mexico: OverviewAfter a turbulent couple of years that has seen three coaches come and go and more than 60 players pull on the famous green jersey, Mexico has returned to calmer waters under the steadying influence of Javier Aguirre. The former Atletico Madrid coach has put together a team comprising of bright young talents and established stars, restoring their wavering confidence in the process.After being appointed as coach in the qualifying matches, Aguirre worked a miracle, transforming Mexican fortunes despite kicking off with a 2-1 reverse in El Salvador. Victories over each of their five group rivals then followed, giving them a ticket to the finals with one game to spare. After a draw against Trinidad and Tobago in their final outing, the Mexicans ended the group in second place behind eternal rivals US.Veteran playmaker Cuauhtemoc Blanco is perhaps the player Mexico fans should thank for their side’s turnaround. Lured out of retirement by Aguirre, the talented 36-year-old became the symbol of a revitalised team, helping younger teammates to find their best form.Mexico have been drawn into Group A to face South Africa, Uruguay and 1998 World Cup winners France.Mexico’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP NETHERLANDS (NED)Netherlands: Group E matches Netherlands vs Denmark, 14 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgJapan vs Cameroon, 14 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNetherlands vs Japan, 19 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanCameroon vs Denmark, 19 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaDenmark vs Japan, 24 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgCameroon vs Netherlands, 24 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNetherlands: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 8Best World Cup progress: Runners-up in 1974, 1978Total World Cup matches: 36World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 16 / 10 / 10Percentage of World Cup match wins: 44%Netherlands: Footballing nation Association: Koninklijke Nederlandse VoetbalbondYear association founded: 1889Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 17-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1.7-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 10.4%Professional footballers: 1 000Netherlands: OverviewNetherlands have set a high target for their campaign in South Africa, 32 years after their 3-1 extra-time defeat by Argentina in the showpiece game, four years after their 2-1 final loss to West Germany.The Dutch won 2-1 away to Iceland to become the first European side to qualify, having picked up eight wins from eight games.The team has proved to be faultless so far, with the former Feyenoord coach Bert van Marwijk leading his troops to the top of Group 9, where Norway and Scotland were their major rivals.With a rich history in football as well as an outstanding calibre of players, Netherlands want to go all the way to the top. The Oranje have been drawn into Group E with Japan, Denmark and Cameroon.Netherlands’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP NEW ZEALAND (NZL)New Zealand: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneNew Zealand: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1982Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1982Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 0 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%New Zealand: Footballing nation Association: New Zealand FootballYear association founded: 1891Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1948Confederation: Oceania Football Confederation (OFC)Population: 5-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 199 000Footballers as percentage of population: 4.3%Professional footballers: 25New Zealand: OverviewThe All Whites, New Zealand make a successive return to the Fifa World Cup after qualifying for Germany in 2006. The team claimed the Oceania crown to earn a trip to the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, where they showed solid form after a poor opening against European champions Spain.The dramatic 180-minute South Africa 2010 play-off victory against Bahrain united the rugby-mad nation behind the All Whites like never before, resulting in a national record crowd of 35 100 in the capital Wellington for the decisive qualifier.Captain and centre-back Ryan Nelsen is undoubtedly the player with the highest profile and best credantials in the team. The defender has been a regular at Blackburn Rovers for a number of years, the only New Zealander to have played for so long in the English Premier League.At the other end of the pitch, the All Whites have a number of key attacking options led by the prolific Shane Smeltz. Oceania Player of the Year and Australian A-League top-scorer Smeltz has an all-round finishing ability, and is deadly in the air or with his feet.New Zealand have been drawn into Group F to face Slovenia, Paraguay and defending champions Italy.New Zealand’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP NIGERIA (NGA)Nigeria: Group B matches: Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneNigeria: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1994Previous World Cups: 3Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 1994, 1998Total World Cup matches: 11World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 4 / 1 / 6Percentage of World Cup match wins: 36%Nigeria: Footballing nation Association: Nigeria Football FederationYear association founded: 1945Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1960Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 149-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 6.7-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 4.5%Professional footballers: 2 440Nigeria: OverviewThe 2010 Fifa World Cup in South Africa sees the return of the Super Eagles Nigeria, after failing to qualify for Germany 2006. Expectations are high for the team, after the dramatic qualifying match that saw Nigeria beating Kenya 3-2.The Nigerians are expected to outshine their debut performance at USA 1994, where they dismantled eventual semi-finalists Bulgaria 3-0 in their first match before going on to fall 2-1 against Italy in the second round.The Eagles will play Argentina, Korea and Greece in Group B.Nigeria’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP NORTH KOREA (PRK)North Korea: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanNorth Korea: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1966Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1966Total World Cup matches: 4World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 1 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 25%North Korea: Footballing nation Association: DPR Korea Football AssociationYear association founded: 1945Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1958Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 23-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 503 000Footballers as percentage of population: 2.2%Professional footballers: 0North Korea: OverviewNorth Korea seemingly came from nowhere to storm into the Asian Zone’s final qualification round, where they defied sizeable odds to take one of the continent’s four automatic spots in the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Nonetheless, North Korea’s qualification campaign took a gruelling 20 months and 16 games.South Africa 2010 will mark North Korea’s second appearance in the Fifa World Cup; their first was in England in 1966.They have been drawn into Group G to face strong opponents Brazil, Portugal and Côte d’Ivoire. This will make it difficult for them to emulate the success of the 1966 North Korea team, which beat Italy 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals.North Korea’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP PARAGUAY (PAR)Paraguay: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneParaguay: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 7Best World Cup progress: Round of 16 in 1986, 1998, 2002Total World Cup matches: 22World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 6 / 7 / 9Percentage of World Cup match wins: 27%Paraguay: Footballing nation Association: Asociación Paraguaya de FútbolYear association founded: 1906Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1925Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 7-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 14.8%Professional footballers: 590Paraguay: OverviewParaguay will be making their eighth Fifa World Cup appearance in 2010, their fourth in a row. In the qualifying matches they recorded the most wins in the group with 10 wins, three draws and five defeats. They collected 33 points in all to finish third behind the Chileans and Brazil. They confirmed their ticket to the finals in style, with Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo declaring a national holiday for the nation to celebrate.The team’s success at the Fifa World Cup in South Africa rests on the services of several internationally renowned players, most of whom play club football in Mexico and Europe. While the side is sprinkled with proven performers in every area, the Paraguayans’ biggest name can be found up front: Roque Santa Cruz has had several successful seasons in England and is currently playing for Manchester City.Paraguay have been drawn into Group F to face New Zealand, Slovakia and defending champions Italy.Paraguay’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP PORTUGAL (POR)Portugal: Group G matches Brazil vs North Korea, 15 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgCôte d’Ivoire vs Portugal, 15 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethBrazil vs Côte d’Ivoire, 20 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgPortugal vs North Korea, 21 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNorth Korea vs Côte d’Ivoire, 25 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitPortugal vs Brazil, 25 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanPortugal: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1966Previous World Cups: 4Best World Cup progress: Third-place semi-finalists in 1966, fourth-place semi-finalists in 2006Total World Cup matches: 19World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 11 / 1 / 7Percentage of World Cup match wins: 58%Portugal: Footballing nation Association: Federaçao Portuguesa de FutebolYear association founded: 1914Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 10-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 548 000Footballers as percentage of population: 5.1%Professional footballers: 1 663Portugal: OverviewIn the qualifying games, Portugal quickly went from being group favourites to standing on the threshold of elimination. With the management of Mozambican-born coach Carlos Queiroz, a former coach for South Africa, and talented players such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Pepe and Deco, expectations of the team are high.Portugal were finalists at Uefa Euro 2004 and semi-finalists at Germany 2006, but have never progressed beyond a World Cup semi-final. They have displayed some dazzling football in recent years – without winning a major prize.Portugal reached the finals courtesy of a play-off win over Bosnia-Herzegovina. For 2010 thay have been drawn against Brazil, North Korea and Côte d’Ivoire in Group G. Competition will be tough: five-time winners Brazil are the favourites for the tournament while Côte d’Ivoire boast players of the calibre of Didier Drogba, Yaya and Kolo Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Salomon Kalou.It is Portugal’s clash with the Ivorians that Ronaldo believes could be crucial, with the two nations’ opening bout in Port Elizabeth.Portugal’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SERBIA (SRB)Serbia: Group D matches: Germany vs Australia, 13 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSerbia vs Ghana, 13 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaGermany vs Serbia, 18 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethGhana vs Australia, 19 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgGhana vs Germany, 23 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgAustralia vs Serbia, 23 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSerbia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930 (as Yugoslavia)Previous World Cups: 10Best World Cup progress: Fourth-place semi-finalists in 1930, 1962 as YugoslaviaTotal World Cup matches: 40World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 16 / 8 / 16Percentage of World Cup match wins: 40%Serbia: Footballing nation Association: Football Association of SerbiaYear association founded: 1919Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 7-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 442 000Footballers as percentage of population: 6%Professional footballers: 1 500Serbia: OverviewSerbia will appear as an independent state for the first time in the 2010 Fifa World Cup. As part of the Yugoslavian side they appeared at nine editions of the competition, and competed as Serbia and Montenegro at Germany 2006.The Serbian national team was previously known as the Yugoslavia national football team from 15 January 1992 until 4 February 2003, and then as the Serbia and Montenegro national football team until 3 June 2006. This was when Serbia declared independence as the successor state to the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.It was officially renamed the Serbia national football team on 28 June 2006, while the Montenegro national football team was created to represent the new state of Montenegro.Serbia beat Romania 5-0 to earn automatic qualification for the 2010 World Cup as the leaders of European qualifying Group 7. They have been drawn in Group D with Germany, Australia and Ghana.Serbia’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SLOVAKIA (SVK)Slovakia: Group F matches Italy vs Paraguay, 14 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownNew Zealand vs Slovakia, 15 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgItaly vs New Zealand, 20 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSlovakia vs Paraguay, 20 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSlovakia vs Italy, 24 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgParaguay vs New Zealand, 24 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovakia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2010Previous World Cups: 0Best World Cup progress: The former Czechoslovakia played in eight Fifa World Cups and were runners-up in 1934 and 1962Total World Cup matches: –World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: –Percentage of World Cup match wins: –Slovakia: Footballing nation Association: Slovak Football AssociationYear association founded: 1993Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1994Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 5-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 622 000Footballers as percentage of population: 11.4%Professional footballers: 489Slovakia: OverviewLike Serbia, Slovakia will appear in a Fifa World Cup as an independent state for the first time in 2010. After the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the Slovak Football Association was founded in 1993.While this may be Slovakia’s first appearance on the global stage, the country’s footballing past is tied up with that of the former Czechoslovakia, who participated in eight finals overall. Czechoslovakia reached the final in 1934, losing 2-1 after extra time to Italy, and 1962, when they succumbed 3-1 to Brazil. They also advanced as far as the last eight in 1990.Slovakia clinched qualification with a 1-0 away win against Poland. Currently ranked 34th in the world, they finished as surprise winners at the top of a tricky European qualifying group containing Slovenia, Czech Republic, Poland and Northern Ireland. The Slovakians are in Group F with Italy Paraguay and New Zealand.Slovakia’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP SLOVENIA (SVN)Slovenia: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaSlovenia: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 2002Previous World Cups: 1Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 2002Total World Cup matches: 3World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 0 / 0 / 3Percentage of World Cup match wins: 0%Slovenia: Footballing nation Association: Football Association of SloveniaYear association founded: 1991Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1992Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 2-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 117 000Footballers as percentage of population: 5.8%Professional footballers: 284Slovenia: OverviewGiven that they only gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991, Slovenia’s football history is shorter than the majority of their South Africa 2010 rivals. They can, however, reflect with pride on having qualified for the Fifa World Cup at just the second time of trying. Slovenia played their first match in 1992 after the split of Yugoslavia in 1991.A nation of just 2-million people, Slovenia has done better than expected to secure a place at next year’s World Cup. They knocked out experienced teams such as Poland, Czech Republic and, finally, Russia to take their place in South Africa. Slovenia have been drawn in Group C with England US and Algeria.Slovenia’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SOUTH AFRICA (RSA)South Africa: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinSouth Africa: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1998Previous World Cups: 2Best World Cup progress: Group stage in 1998, 2002Total World Cup matches: 6World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 1 / 3 / 2Percentage of World Cup match wins: 17%South Africa: Footballing nation Association: South African Football AssociationYear association founded: 1991Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1992Confederation: Confederation of African Football (CAF)Population: 49-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 4.5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 9.3%Professional footballers: 1 000South Africa: OverviewThere is cautious optimism in South Africa as the Rainbow Nation prepares to write what is undoubtedly the most significant chapter of its short football history. A mammoth task lies ahead.In 1996, four years after their readmission to international football, South Africa shot to fame and stunned the African continent by claiming their maiden CAF Africa Cup of Nations trophy against Tunisia at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Now, 16 years later, South Africa will return to the venue where they achieved this first major success, aiming to rewrite the script on an even bigger stage.Recent years have brought many disappointments, but Bafana Bafana have also shown that, given motivation and purpose, they can be a potent threat. And there can be no greater motivation than representing their country in a Fifa World Cup on home soil.Their brave performance at the Fifa Confederations Cup last June, when they lost narrowly to Brazil in the semi-finals and to Spain in the third place play-off, should certainly serve as a reminder to their detractors that the team should not be underestimated.Bafana Bafana boasts the talents of midfield maestro Steven Pienaar who, since his arrival at English Premier League team Everton, has reinvented himself and matured as an all-round player. His performance during the 2009 Confederations Cup were another reminder that he will be key to any South African success in 2010.Now in his second stint as a South Africa coach, Carlos Alberto Parreira has a pedigree for success, having led his native Brazil to win the 1994 Fifa World Cup USA. He brings a wealth of experience, which should be vital in revitalising a South African side struggling with some significant pre-tournament problems.The South Africans have been drawn into Group A to face France, Mexico and Uruguay.South Africa’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOP SOUTH KOREA (KOR)South Korea: Group B matches Argentina vs Nigeria, 12 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgSouth Korea vs Greece, 12 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethArgentina vs South Korea, 17 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgGreece vs Nigeria, 17 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinNigeria vs South Korea, 22 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanGreece vs Algeria, 22 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSouth Korea: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1954Previous World Cups: 7Best World Cup progress: Fourth-place semi-finalists in 2002Total World Cup matches: 24World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 4 / 7 / 13Percentage of World Cup match wins: 17%South Korea: Footballing nation Association: Korea Football AssociationYear association founded: 1933Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1948Confederation: Asian Football Confederation (AFC)Population: 48-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 1.1-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 2.3%Professional footballers: 550South Korea: OverviewAsia’s most frequent visitors to the Fifa World Cup, South Korea are also the continent’s most successful team at the tournament. They may have qualified for their seventh consecutive world finals, but it was a bumpy ride this time. Despite a series of lacklustre performances in the third round, the South Koreans managed to top their group after two goalless draws with neighbours North Korea.The North Koreans proved to be their nemesis again in the final round, holding the Taeguk Warriors to a 1-1 stalemate in Shanghai. But they bounced back in style with back-to-back wins over United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, before a crucial 1-1 draw with Iran in Tehran. A 1-0 home victory in the Korean derby followed, and the mission was accomplished with a 2-0 win against UAE.Manchester United’s Park Ji-Sung has played a key role in South Korea’s two previous Fifa World Cup campaigns. The multifunctional winger is now an indispensible member of the team, with his ability to create space and chances for his fellow players.The 2002 Fifa World Cup co-hosts are striving to do better than Germany 2006 where they made an early exit in the group stages. The team has been drawn into Group B against Argentina, Nigeria and Greece.South Korea’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SPAIN (ESP)Spain: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaSpain: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 12Best World Cup progress: Fourth-place semi-finalists in 1950Total World Cup matches: 49World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 22 / 12 / 15Percentage of World Cup match wins: 45%Spain: Footballing nation Association: Real Federacion Española de FutbolYear association founded: 1909Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1913Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 40-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 2.8-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 7%Professional footballers: 1 331Spain: OverviewSpain, the Uefa Euro 2008 champions, won each of their 10 qualifying games. The team have not rested on the success of their 2008 victory, consistently bringing in new faces without compromising their attractive short-passing football.Maturity, resilience and the ability to overcome adversity were all in evidence during their qualifying campaign. The team boasts the goalkeeping qualities of captain Iker Casillas, who plays in the Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid. The midfield combination of La Liga club Barcelona player Xavi Hernandez and Arsenal player Cesc Fabregas is vital to Spain’s fluid style, while at the sharp end of the attack there can be few if any better finishers than David Villa and Licverpool player Fernando Torres.Spain have never won the Fifa World Cup and hope to take the crown in South Africa 2010. The team have been drawn into Group H to face Honduras, Chile and Switzerland.Spain’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP SWITZERLAND (SUI)Switzerland: Group H matches Honduras vs Chile, 16 June, Mbombela Stadium, NelspruitSpain vs Switzerland, 16 June, Durban Stadium, DurbanSpain vs Honduras, 21 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgChile vs Switzerland, 21 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethSwitzerland vs Honduras, 25 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinChile vs Spain, 25 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaSwitzerland: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1934Previous World Cups: 8Best World Cup progress: Quarter-finalists in 1954Total World Cup matches: 26World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 8 / 5 / 13Percentage of World Cup match wins: 31%Switzerland: Footballing nation Association: Schweizerischer FussballverbandYear association founded: 1895Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1904Confederation: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA)Population: 8-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 571 000Footballers as percentage of population: 7.5%Professional footballers: 550Switzerland: OverviewSwitzerland will be appearing in their ninth Fifa World Cup in 2010. Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld and his men are aiming for more than just a supporting role. Eliminated in the last 16 at Germany 2006, the Swiss worked hard on their way to South Africa. They finished at the top of their group on 21 points, beating Greece by one point in a taxing group.The Swiss reached the quarter-finals in their first two World Cup appearances in 1934 and 1938. The highlight of the 1938 campaign was a 4-2 victory over a Nazi-controlled German team featuring Austrian players after the annexation of the country. When World Cup football resumed in 1950 after a 12-year World War II-enforced hiatus, the Swiss were knocked out at the group stage.The Swiss hosted the tournament in 1954 and again made the quarters with two victories over Italy. The quarter-final match against Austria was the highest-scoring match in World Cup history as Switzerland remarkably threw away a three-goal lead, conceding five in seven first-half minutes to lose 7-5. In the 1962 and 1966 campaigns, the Swiss lost all their games.Switzerland have been drawn into Group H to face Spain, Honduras and Chile.Switzerland’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squadBACK TO TOP URUGUAY (URU)Uruguay: Group A matches South Africa vs Mexico, 11 June, Soccer City, JohannesburgUruguay vs France, 11 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSouth Africa vs Uruguay, 16 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaFrance vs Mexico, 17 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneMexico vs Uruguay, 22 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgFrance vs South Africa, 22 June, Free State Stadium, BloemfonteinUruguay: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 10Best World Cup progress: Winners in 1930Total World Cup matches: 40World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 15 / 10 / 15Percentage of World Cup match wins: 38%Uruguay: Footballing nation Association: Asociación Uruguaya de FútbolYear association founded: 1900Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1923Confederation: South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL)Population: 3-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 241 000Footballers as percentage of population: 6.9%Professional footballers: 1 100Uruguay: OverviewTwo-time world champions Uruguay clinched the 32nd and final place in South Africa with a 2-1 aggregate victory over Costa Rica. Few nations have the footballing history of Uruguay. The country has a population of a little over 3-million yet boasts an impressive collection of world, Olympic and continental titles.Football is the most important sport in Uruguay. They won an Olympic gold medal in 1924 and another one in 1928, which were considered the most important tournaments in football before the World Cup began in 1930. The first World Cup, which Uruguay won, was held in 1930 in Montevideo. Uruguay also won the World Cup in 1950, beating Brazil.Uruguay has made two appearances at the last five Fifa World Cup finals. The man charged with the task of improving that record and raising their profile once more is Oscar Tabarez, who is now in his second stint as national coach, having taken the Uruguayans through to the last 16 at Italy in 1990.Uruguay have been drawn into Group A to face South Africa, Mexico and France.Uruguay’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad USA (USA)BACK TO TOPUSA: Group C matches England vs USA, 12 June, Royal Bafokeng Stadium, RustenburgAlgeria vs Slovenia, 13 June, Peter Mokaba Stadium, PolokwaneSlovenia vs USA, 18 June, Ellis Park Stadium, JohannesburgEngland vs Algeria, 18 June, Cape Town Stadium, Cape TownSlovenia vs England, 23 June, Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port ElizabethUSA vs Algeria, 23 June, Loftus Versfeld Stadium, PretoriaUSA: Fifa World Cup history First World Cup: 1930Previous World Cups: 8Best World Cup progress: Third-place semi-finalists in 1930Total World Cup matches: 25World Cup matches: won/drawn/lost: 6 / 3 / 16Percentage of World Cup match wins: 24%USA: Footballing nation Association: US Soccer FederationYear association founded: 1913Year association affiliated to Fifa: 1914Confederation: Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF)Population: 307-millionTotal footballers (male and female): 24.5-millionFootballers as percentage of population: 8%Professional footballers: 1 513USA: OverviewThough football has not traditionally had a high profile in US sporting life, the sport has steadily grown in popularity since the 1970s. Ranked 14th in the world by Fifa, the American team have appeared in the last five World Cups.The US reached the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa by qualifying in first place in the final six-team hexagonal phase of North, Central America and Caribbean Zone qualifying. Under the careful guidance of coach Bob Bradley, a well-drilled blend of proven internationals and up-and-coming stars will be keen to build on their second-place finish at the Fifa Confederations Cup South Africa 2009.The US has taken part in nine Fifa World Cups, with Mexico the only Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football team involved in more editions of the tournament.The Americans’ best World Cup performance came at Uruguay 1930, when they exited at the semi-final stage. At Germany 2006 they bid farewell to the tournament at the first hurdle. South Africa 2010 will be the Americans’ sixth consecutive appearance. They are in Group C where they will be playing England, Algeria and Slovenia.USA’s 2010 Fifa World Cup squad BACK TO TOPlast_img read more

FedEx’s New Bots Can Deliver Pizza, Groceries or Even Bring Chicken Noodle Soup to…

first_imgFedEx Office is adding a new kind of worker in North Texas: a robot that can deliver a hot pepperoni pizza, a bag of groceries, or a prescription to a customer’s home.The bot could bring a swab for a strep test to a sick person’s door and return hours later with medication, cough drops and a cup of chicken noodle soup.Starting in July, the robots, dubbed same-day bots, will be put to the test in the real world. FedEx Office will run the bots through routes in Plano and Frisco. They will join pedestrians on sidewalks and roll beside cars on the roadside… Dallas News- Sponsor – Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img